Between Shades of Gray

Ruta Sepetys

1940's, Siberia

One day a Lithuanian girl named Lina who was 15 years old, dad her whole life taken away when the Soviet Soldiers barged into her house and tore her family apart from the place they call "home".

Main Characters

Lina: a 15 year old Lithuanian girl who loves to draw

Jonas: Lina's 10 tear old brother

Elena VIlkas: Lina and Jonas's mother who is very caring

Kostas Vilkas: lina and Jonas's father who gets seperated from him his family

Andrius Arvydas: a 17 year old boy who smokes, falls in love with Lina in exile, and helps her and her family as much as he can

Mrs. Arvydas: Andrius's mother. she is forced into prostitution by the NKVD but is given the benefits of food, water, baths, and other things other deportees donnt have, at a cost

Nikolai Kretzsky: a young NKVD officer who helps Lina and her mother

Mr. Stalas: jumps out of the ttuck on the firsst day and breaks his leg and is wanting to die for the rest of the book, also called "the bald man" He is jewish

Janina: young girl who likes to help people and talks about her "dead" doll

Joana: Lina and Jonas's cousin who escapes Germany before the NKVD shows up

Dr. Samodurov: a doctor who saves the lives of Lina, Janina, and Jonas

Mr. Lukas: he thinks that they are going to America and likes to repeat the last word of every single sentwnce

Ona: a ladt who gives birth to a baby who shortly dies shortly after. murdered shortly after for loosing all sanity


Anything historical

A true historical event was the NKVD union throwing the people in the dirty car. This part wasn't really in history because its all fictional. So, there isn't anything that actually happened in history. The only non-fictional thing was the time and the place. The time and place was the 1940's crossing the Arctic Circle to get to Siberia. That's why there wasnt really any historical things in this book.


daval- hurry in Russian

"Daval! we're going to be late!"

intentional- something done deliberately

" It was intentional for the girl to fall."

treacherous- to be disloyal; traitorous

" He was being treacherous against his friends because he went to the movies."

rational- to be reasonable

" He was rational against his kids."

rubles- a Russian form of money

" I need more rubles for the mall."


Lina, her mom,and her brother got thrown into a dirty car with a lot of other people. Her father was sent to a prison camp, while the Soviet Soldiers a treating the people in the dirty car like prisoners by giving them a little whole for the bathroom and a little bucket for food and water. She meets a 17 year old boy who's name is Andrius and falls in love. He wouldn't hurt Lina unless he absolutely has to. In the end Lina fights for her rights and everyone else's through her drawings.

Figurative Language

Simile- " Now she drooped, like someone had sucked the aid out of her. " [ page 206 ] Lina compared Mrs. Rimas physical appearance by comparing her appearance to look as if someone had sucked the air out of her.

Metaphor- " He grabbed her by the arm and spit something that resembled an oyster onto her face. " [ page 146 ] Lina compared the officers spit on her mothers face to an oyster.

Personification- " The evening breeze floated through the open window over my desk, waltzing the curtain from side to side. " [ page 3 ] the curtains cant really waltz because its a type a dance living things can only do.

Onomatopoeia- " BANG! " [ page 150 ] this is a sound that the gun that just went off.


People who exist in history- The only thing that isn't fictional is the NKVD union

Fictional People- everyone in the story